PENS GUMMI – COOL TO SCHOOL – DESIGN YOUR FRIXION

It’s september! And that means back to school, university or to the office … for this reason there is a great campaign from PILOT today, Design your FriXion and the instructions for a simple rubber pencil. As much as I mourn after summer every year, I look forward to autumn. I’m looking forward to cooler temperatures, cozy sweaters, afternoons with hot chocolate and the general motivation and activity that will return. For many, it’s back to school, university or back to work after a long, extensive summer vacation. Everyone has energy, is in a good mood and really wants to rock something. Just in time for the “start of school”, there is a mega cool PILOT campaign today. At the moment you can personalize your favorite pens on the PILOT website. In other words, you can create an individual sticker for a FriXion Ball, FriXion Clicker or a FriXion set of 3 leads. Pattern, color and font can be chosen and of course the text! So you can label all pens with your own name or print a few funny or inspiring messages on them. On the “Design your FriXion” website you can simply scan your receipt and personalize your FriXion. Have lots of fun with it! DIY SIMPLE PEN HOLDER YOURSELF In keeping with the newly rediscovered autumn motivation, I have thought of a little DIY so that I will hopefully never again be with my book without a pen or with a pen without my book … The pencil rubber is simply sewn on a rubber band in any width and can be wonderfully looped around any notebook. MATERIALS For the macrame vase stockings you need the following material: Elastic band sewing machine matching yarn Clips or pins of course a notebook and a couple of FriXion pens 😉 TIP: You can also use a narrow elastic band for this DIY, anything wider than 1.5cm is ideal so that the pens have enough hold. TIPS & TRICKS 1. Determine the design  – It is best to think about how many pen compartments you would like to have and how to hide the ends nicely. For this reason, I roughly sketched out how I would like to lay the rubber band and, above all, how I would like to fold the ends so that the end of the rubber band is hidden in a loop. 2. Pin  the elastic band – Since the elastic band is elastic, it is difficult to fix everything in the right position. For this reason, I worked my way step by step and tested every step on the booklet again so as not to sew too much or too little tension on the elastic band. I sealed the first edge with the lighter and then formed a loop and sewed it on. 3.  Fix the loops – Place the elastic around the booklet and simply measure roughly so that the elastic is under slight tension. Lay all three layers on top of each other and go over them with a normal stitch. My sewing machine managed the 3 shifts without any problems. I pinned the other loops so that the end is hidden again and forms a final loop.

My material tips for art journaling

Are you wondering what materials you need for art journaling? Which glue is right or how do you prime your sides correctly? Here I have put together my personal material recommendations for your start in art journaling. Have fun with it! Basically, it doesn’t take much to get started with art journaling. You are completely free in your creativity and can choose your materials as you like. However, some things are very helpful when you have them on hand. I would like to introduce these to you here. The most important basics for art journaling Below you will find the most important basics that I recommend for your start in art journaling: Art Journal Paints and pens brush Glue for collages / mixed media Gesso Brackets Magazines, journals, books and Co. Other materials & aids Have fun reading and get inspired! I am happy if I can give you a good overview! 1. Your Art Journal Your diary itself is of course the basis for art journaling. You can use a regular sketchbook, a special Art Journal book, a spiral pad or a notebook for this. If you like, you can also make your art journal yourself – there are also many beautiful variations. In my article “ Which book as an art journal? “I have written extensively about the Art Journal myself and here I also present my personal recommendations. 2. Paints and pens Your personal favorites are required here. What do you particularly like to paint with – or what would you like to finally try out, but haven’t really dared yourself yet? There is space for experiments in your Art Journal 🙂 I personally use for art journaling: Watercolor paints (preferably Van Gogh * and Schmincke) Acrylic paints (here I have a hodgepodge of cheap acrylic paints from the craft store through to high-quality Lukas paints or other brands) Colored pencils (my favorites: Derwent Coloursoft colored pencils *) now and then oil or pastel chalks and sometimes wax crayons . Usually just a few colors are enough. You don’t need a huge assortment to get started! It is better to buy colors little by little if you notice that you are missing something in your collection. My black and white fineliners are also indispensable for me ! The white fineliner is the Uniball Signo UM-153  * – a white ink pen that really paints and covers in brilliant white. With the black fineliner, I currently particularly like to use the waterproof Uniball Eye Fineliner *. If you hantierst with acrylic paints and paint over it like, also are marking pens or special acrylic marker a good choice. 3. Brush The brushes depend on which colors you are using. For watercolors I like to use Da Vinci brushes for watercolors   in different sizes, for acrylic colors I use bristle brushes in “No Name quality” or the chic Da Vinci acrylic brushes  . 4. Glue for collages / mixed media Matt medium! Personally, I now almost exclusively use Matt Medium for gluing pictures, magazine clippings and the like – a liquid painting medium / binding agent. This fluid can be used like a normal liquid glue and brings your pictures, papers and text snippets into your art journal without creasing . It dries clear, and you can with acrylic paints or water colors in additional layers about painting (watercolors to see something blunt, but even that can be an exciting effect!). You can also use the matte medium to make photo transfers (that is, to put an “imprint” of a photo or print in your art journal). The matte medium is also suitable as a seal and protects your finished work from fading and external influences. I work with the Matte Medium from Liquitex *, the M att Medium from Golden or the Matte Medium from DecoArt are often recommended around me . In addition to the matt drying matt medium, there is also a glossy medium , which gives your picture a glossy finish. Depending on your preference, you can choose a matt or gloss finish. The classic UHU glue stick You can also use a classic glue stick as a glue for collages. I also use this again and again – especially with smaller snippets. Here I take the classic – the UHU glue stick . 5. Gesso (the all-round talent) Gesso is used in a variety of ways in the creative sector. It is basically a color binding agent that is mainly used as a primer . It prepares the respective substrate for the use of colors and ensures that the colors adhere better . It is ideal for preparing a surface on acrylic paints, watercolors or even oil paints or gouache and tempera paints. With the help of a gesso primer, you can also paint on unusual materials such as wood or metal: You can make cardboard and cardboard shine through your paintings or prepare an acrylic canvas so that it can be painted with watercolors, for example. You can also use Gesso to make your pages in the Art Journal “thicker” and more durable . This is especially useful if you are working in a classic notebook or in a notebook, book or calendar with thin paper pages. Gesso is mostly used in white . It has a high pigmentation and therefore a high covering power. So you can easily paint over printed or already painted surfaces – the cornflakes pack turns into a gleaming white canvas that is just waiting for your paintings 🙂 Even small mistakes can be ironed out with Gesso by simply placing a white layer over the unwanted areas of your picture. You can use it to lay layers on top of each other in a playful way! The radiant gesso white also ensures that your colors appear incredibly bright . You can also mix your colors with it . Gesso is not only available in white , but also in transparent or even in black – just as you like it and how you want to use it! (in the Happy Art Journaling course I use gesso in white – this gesso from Liquitex  *) Particularly ingenious: You can also incorporate different structures in Gesso . Very exciting experimenting in the Art Journal! 6. Brackets If you are working in a bound book , I particularly recommend brackets. You can use it to keep your book open and your pages lie flat while you are painting and designing. I use so-called foldback clips or multi-purpose clips  * for this. In theory, however, you can also use normal clothespins or large paper clips. 7. Magazines, periodicals, books, pictures, papers If you like to experiment and make collages, your waste paper suddenly takes on a completely new meaning! 😀 Keep nice magazines, periodicals, old newspapers and books and use texts and images from them for your art journal. For example, I love magazines like Happinez, Flow or Happy Way, in which there is a lot to be cut out and pasted in … but classic women’s and gossip magazines also have a lot that you can use! Also nice: brochures and catalogs from trade fairs (the creative fairs are perfect for “collecting”!). Discover old books on a shelf or at the flea market – the older, the more exciting! 🙂 With newspapers can also play great. I also collect sturdy cardboard boxes , for example from muesli and corn flakes packs, I cut up old wall calendars and much more. You will be amazed what you can find in everyday life if you sharpen your eyes for it! Particularly practical: old pictures and works of art that you no longer want (or that may have been an experimental “failed attempt”) can be easily reused in art journaling! 8. What else do you need for art journaling A pair of scissors , possibly a cutter knife for designing your own templates or “punching” pages, old cardboard as basics for stencils a cup of water Kitchen paper or a cloth for handling brushes and paints For backgrounds and techniques depending on your choice: old sponges, toothbrushes, stencils, colored tape, stickers, fabrics, napkins , … whatever you like! Your imagination knows no boundaries! You will be surprised how many ideas come to mind about what can be used once you start 🙂 And now I wish you a lot of fun collecting your materials and getting started with Art Journaling! Happy painting!

Annoyed? Angry? Emotionally? Why you should paint NOW

Are you really annoyed? Did you feel particularly annoyed about something today? Do you feel like the whole world is against you? Great – the best conditions for painting! 🙂  It always seems as if you should grab pens and paper especially when you are in a good mood and glittering unicorns and colorful rainbows accompany you through everyday life. Of course, it is also really fun to paint – but you will feel the ingenious effect that creativity triggers especially when you are really frustrated, sad, angry, annoyed or anxious or just feel misunderstood.  Really! In my life so far, painting has often carried me through challenging situations. And you can use it for yourself too! Painting reveals feelings and liberates! The moment you put colors on paper, your feelings find a place. You are opening a channel to let your emotions flow in a good way and to feel what is really moving you inside. Because there is often a deeper feeling behind anger, anger or fear – and this is often very clear during the creative process.  This gives you the chance to deal with your feelings and see what touches and moves you.  Painting gives you a liberating feeling and it helps you let go. You get the necessary distance from your feelings and can look at them from the outside in a more relaxed manner. On some days you need an extra helping of serenity 😉 Colors and images are healing for the soul Our subconscious thinks in pictures. Colors have a psychological effect on us: They can enliven us or relax us, calm us down or provide more clarity and concentration (here you will find an interesting overview of the effect of the individual colors ) . When you paint a picture, you intuitively create exactly the mood on paper that it needs now to feel good. The creative process as such is also balm for your soul: painting is like meditation . You are completely in the moment and very attentive to and with yourself. You take time for yourself and immerse yourself completely in your experience. Painting becomes an oasis of relaxation and tranquility in your everyday life – especially when things are hectic or challenging around you. Do you feel like an alien among other people? Get it on paper! 🙂 Humor is when you laugh anyway Do you know what always helps me best when painting when things get hot around me? I paint humorous pictures. This creates annoyed owls, grinning fat cats or ironically sketched everyday situations that have just thrown me off my concept. Humor helps wonderfully to take things easier – and on top of that, it’s just great fun to put funny scenes on paper. It is not important that you present everything perfectly – rather, it is about that it can be easy, with lots of joy and liveliness! Let out everything that’s burning on your soul – it’s often so much easier with painting than with words. Sometimes you have to swim against the current … 🙂 Feel free to paint! Painting is YOUR comfort zone. You alone decide what you paint. YOU decide what you feel comfortable with. What is doing you good right now. Because that’s exactly what it should be about – that painting frees you, makes you lighter, happier and happier. Even on challenging days! I wish you that painting can be your channel to let your emotions run free! Happy painting!

Why your knowledge of painting is not enough

I recently went to a parents’ evening. The teacher said to us, “Many students in this class understand everything very quickly when we are dealing with a new topic. But the reason why the written performance is still not that good is that they do not anchor their knowledge sufficiently. They think they have already understood everything. But they also have to practice. Because only through repeated practice can the knowledge really be safely applied and transferred. “ You can think what you want of our school system? – but these words make something very important clear: We have to get into DOING to really, really understand something. To turn knowledge into an experience. I don’t want to learn English vocabulary with you – and I don’t want to teach you any classical knowledge from the visual arts. You have already passed school (you might also say: Fortunately!). Today you are free. But what I would like to make clear to you is that you   need EXPERIENCE to truly understand something. Also and especially in creativity! Experience beats knowledge – also in creativity Maybe you already know that it’s somehow  not about copying. You may already know that you  want to create something of your  own when you paint. You feel somewhere in you  that there is more that wants to be visible. And you know that the path is not about copying, comparing or learning any techniques. Perhaps you have already read a lot about creativity with me or elsewhere and know that you have to  let go of external guidelines . That you  have to allow yourself to do things  in painting, that you have to be  courageous and open to new things . That you  have to learn to love and accept yourself  – and you also have to allow your pictures to be everything they want to be. But do you just KNOW all of these things – or did you really EXPERIENCE them alive? Have you just read somewhere that your picture doesn’t have to be classically beautiful, that it’s not about good or bad, but more about your own expression? Or have you really ever painted a picture that you left standing for the sake of its expression, even though you didn’t find it beautiful in the classic sense? Have you only watched videos that were wildly and freely painted – across borders, lines, borders, completely imperfect? Or did you allow yourself to take this step while painting  and experience what it feels like? Have you just heard somewhere that you should give in to your inner voice while painting? Or have you actually given yourself the freedom to  spontaneously follow an impulse from within while painting ? No matter how crazy or “stupid” that felt to you at first? It is not enough just to understand things in your head. It is not enough to gain a lot of knowledge if you do not really experience it. Go deep. Pick up paints, brushes, pens and get started. Do those things that you read about that fascinate you. Finally allow yourself to be free in your painting! Realize how you secretly imagine your pictures! Unleash the artist in you to feel WHOLE while painting! Experience takes you so much further than pure knowledge. Experience is feeling, feeling, experiencing – with all your senses Knowledge is something that happens in the head and is then usually stored in some drawer. Experience is something that lets you experience, feel, sense with all your senses, with body and mind, what your knowledge REALLY means. Knowledge makes you safer, gives you orientation. But experience is what makes you richer, more perfect, happier. And also more fulfilling in your creative process. Because it is experience that leads you to yourself – not knowledge alone. Don’t let yourself get stuck in learning and knowledge accumulation. The true courage, but also the true liberation of your creativity, lies in doing. Get started right away – take the first step and dare to do exactly what you’ve always wanted to paint, draw, do, but have only secretly reeled it off in front of your inner eye. With your experience it becomes real. And you are one step further on the way to your very own creative power! I wish you a great, creative day!

Fineliner fun with happy painting: tips and tricks

One of my favorite steps in happy painting is the fineliner fun: Here we play wild, free, happy and exuberant with a black and a white fineliner to bring our picture to life.  My Happy Painters often ask a few questions here:  What do I have to pay attention to when I buy fineliners for happy painting?  Which pens are good? How do I find the right one for me?  How do I vary my patterns and lines and decorations?  How do I loosen up my bottom line?  And how do I make my fineliner scribbles look really loose – and not so cramped and “too precise”?  I would like to answer these questions in this video and tell you some tricks and tips to have a lot of fun with the fineliner fun with the black fineliner – and above all to feel good!  Basically, I recommend that you just keep painting! 🙂 It gets easier the longer and more often you deal with something – this is also the case with Happy Painting. The painting method itself is easy and uncomplicated – but you will discover even more joy when you go deeper and deeper and develop more and more routine. Then you will really get into the flow when painting!  Happy Painting: Feel free and easy while painting! And that’s exactly what I wish you: Because nothing is more beautiful than the feeling of being completely with yourself and at the same time sinking into the picture … this feeling of feeling completely free and light and lively while painting and welcoming everything that is there just like to show ! Then you will be able to feel more and more how the positive effects and experiences from painting are carried over into your everyday life.  Painting can do so much in your life! Get involved in the gift of your creativity and just have a lot of fun with it!  I now wish you a lot of fun with Happy Painting – and here very explicitly with Fineliner Fun 🙂  All the best and:  Happy painting!

Creative block? Courage for the gap!

Creative block? This is how you solve it! Today we have a wonderful post from the blog author and Happy Painting! Club lecturer Linda Kollarz. It shows you a way to get out of a creative block – with joy and above all: ease! Courage for the gap! By Linda Kollarz  There you sit at your picture and want to paint and then that: Suddenly it doesn’t go any further! Do you also know thoughts like: “Somehow I can’t think of anything (anymore). How should I continue painting? That looks stupid! This is boring! Something is still missing here, but I just don’t know how to design it. “ Then suddenly the thoughts come in and tell you a little story characterized by “negative” emotions. There are different ways to deal with a creative block and in this post I want to address one of them. Just let thoughts be thoughts There can be a wide variety of reasons for suddenly having a creative block while painting. Sometimes you may have already had a hard day and you are not in the flow. Sometimes we may have had an emotional day behind us (we women know that 😉) and now “absolutely” want to create something beautiful as a contrast program. Sometimes we are very caught up in our thoughts and also in the feeling that we want to achieve a certain goal at precisely this moment. But there is also the possibility that we will get to this point “just like that”, because it is human and we cannot always know exactly what our next step will look like. In these moments we can become aware of what is happening here: They are just thoughts! We don’t necessarily have to believe them, we don’t have to acknowledge them as necessarily true! But we are allowed to look at them like little clouds that appear and come into our perception, but we can also let them move on again. Just lean back for a moment and Breathe deeply! Mindfulness is the keyword here. When I finally got to this point and sat in front of my little picture, I took a deep breath, because I really couldn’t think of anything more, even though I really wanted to paint on this picture. And then a sentence entered my mind that I last heard in school and that reappeared right now: “ Courage to take a gap! “ What does that mean? How about if we take the pressure off ourselves by deciding that this picture doesn’t have to be finished at this moment? The creative blockade break by simply allow us just to make the picture even BE, as it is now? To let it develop exactly at your own pace without forcing anything? To let it BE like that at this moment does not mean that we give up or let something remain, but rather to let go of the “absolutely want”. Doesn’t it feel liberating to know that we can take the time for our creativity that we need? Even if that means that we don’t paint in one go? That we are exactly right while we follow our very personal flow, which also needs its own personal time? DOING THEM GOOD breaks the creative block Sometimes it is helpful to have the courage to leave something as it is. Whether for a moment or longer. We can opt for helpful thoughts like What could be good for me right now? What could I enjoy now instead? Maybe you just need a new piece of paper to play with? Is it maybe a question of scribbling wildly now or just seeing colors merging? Find out: How am I right now? How do i feel What is my body saying Then the possibilities are still different! Maybe you just need a little tea break or a walk or a nap? Whatever is good for you right now and what you need now – do exactly THAT and have the courage to just leave this “gap” in your picture. Allow yourself to continue your image at another point in time. Sometimes we don’t have to know exactly what the next step will be – on paper, as in our everyday life! It is enough to sit back, do something good for yourself, and remain confident that whatever is happening is just right. Then the creative block dissolves as if by itself. Have the courage to leave a gap! You are great just like you are there right now!

Inspiration: playfully find motifs to paint

Are you someone who easily finds new subjects to paint? Or do you sometimes find it difficult to get away from a template and develop new, very own ideas? I am often asked: “How do you actually come up with new ideas for motifs?” – and that’s exactly what I want to go into today and show you one of many ways to put your own pictures on paper. I’ll show you a very playful and easy way to discover new motifs for painting: even those that you would never have planned in life! The following video will give you an insight into a playful approach to new motifs. I use them very often, especially when it comes to funny, happy, crazy happy paintings. Find motifs to paint: playful, easy and random How did you like the video? As you can see, it can be very easy to find new motifs to paint. It doesn’t always take a long, complex, and time-consuming process. Sometimes the most beautiful pictures simply emerge from random, light, playful scribbling 🙂 I am happy if I can now invite you to pull out the sketchpad, pick up a pencil and just start scribbling happily! Just let the lines run onto the sheet, be curious to see what will come up. At the beginning it may be a bit tricky to be able to “see” something in the scribble right away. But that gets easier over time. You can also turn your paper and see what you can see. And of course you don’t have to stick to the pencil alone – maybe you want to add colors or experiment with splashes of watercolor paint or chalk. Just take the material you like and let yourself play: you will discover your next motifs for painting as if by yourself. And so much more! 🙂 I am happy when I can inspire you and I am already looking forward to your next pictures. All the best for you and – Happy Painting!

Mixed media: brave the creative comfort zone!

Have you already accumulated a lot of materials for painting? Are there pens, chalks, paints, inks hidden in your drawers – and yet you keep reaching for the few, always the same favorite materials? Why do we sometimes find it so difficult to try something new? Today I would like to invite you to empty your drawers and put everything that appeals to you on the painting table! Let’s bring different materials into your picture: You will be surprised how the use of other pens and colors will inspire you in a completely new way. Mixed Media: It could be so easy … I know it all too well: You keep buying new material because it looks so tempting in the shop . And when you then go to the painting table, you are all too happy to return to the familiar materials. Why? Sure: you already know roughly what to expect. That gives security, orientation. The entrance to the picture is familiar, as is the handling of the materials – and small mistakes. You know how to use the materials. And how you hide mistakes (no: little coincidences!) And paint over them. YOU’RE ON THE SAFE SIDE. But is that really what it is? Is it really about feeling safe while painting? Shouldn’t it be more about creating spaces for yourself in painting in which you are free? In which new things can arise? In which you can experiment, try out, yes, even make mistakes? Painting is YOUR room. Nobody evaluates or judges him. It’s only yours. And in it, EVERYTHING can happen, everything can be seen. And with every step, every stroke of the brush, every new material that takes you out of your creative comfort zone, you give yourself a little more freedom. Freedom to grow, to meet you even more deeply, to continue your artistic path. There’s so much in it for you! So: just pick up different materials now. Some that are actually so beautiful, but have never or rarely been used. Give them a chance! Mixed media: Get out of your comfort zone and try something new Usually I am passionate about painting with watercolors. Fineliners and colored pencils are also my favorite choices. But what about the beautiful pastels, the oil pastels, the acrylic inks, the acrylic paints, the markers, the gesso, the inks? They can now also flow into the picture! When you have all the materials on your painting table, you may be overwhelmed for now: Where do you start? Where should which pen, which color go? And what should actually be created? Let go! Let go of the expectation that you need to know everything by now. The picture arises by itself if you just surrender and let the colors and lines flow. My tip for getting started with mixed media: A sheet of white paper can be quite pressure. Put the first traces on paper quickly and easily. Once it’s “inaugurated”, the next steps are all the easier! I like to close my eyes to get the first lines on the sheet. I start with completely haphazard lines or with simple shapes like circles. Today it’s up to the circles 🙂 Then one thing leads to another: just keep reaching for other material and bring it into the picture. Remember that it doesn’t matter what comes of it later! Now it’s just a matter of taking in the moment and enjoying the process! Merging in the flow: material mix with dedication I paint until the paper is full and there are hardly any white spots left. Then further layers may follow. Where are you drawn to on your paper? What other materials can be used? What did you try out for the first time today and immediately found pleasure in it? What is doing you really good now? Develop out of the flow. Go with your feeling – it always guides you correctly! Your mixed media picture can be exactly as it is created with ease. Whether abstract or with a motif, whether tender or powerful, whether wild or gentle. How does it feel for you not to know where your picture is going? Just to enjoy what makes you happy? Trying out what’s new? Surrender to yourself, to feel yourself and to create from within yourself? Keep your inner critic silent Be brave to intensify contrasts and make colors stronger and stronger. Perhaps you will discover parts of your picture that you really like – go into more and more details here and work out what you like. Maybe there are places that don’t appeal to you at all: Do you have the courage to paint over them completely with a new layer of paint? Or scribble wildly about it? Stop criticizing yourself for not liking or failing something. Instead, ask yourself: “What can I do to make this area, this picture entirely mine?” The answer from inside follows promptly. You just have to listen and trust! Mixed media: Courage comes from doing For me, a little white gesso comes into play. I gently walk over some places with him to take them back a little. Other places are a bit more colorful and powerful. The further you go in the process, the braver you will become. You can change everything again at any time! Until your mixed media picture is really yours. Do you feel how liberating it is to get involved in this experiment with different colors and materials? And how do you suddenly break new ground, simply because you have other materials at hand? Enjoy this feeling of freedom and discovery! Sometimes a single new pen or a new color can break so many boundaries and lead you on new paths! Complete your picture, your way. It can be, be easy. Just as you can simply be. In every moment, with everything that is. The “after” is also part of your creative process After painting, you might want to take the time to look at your picture and reflect: What was particularly nice while painting today? Where did you feel particularly free? What touched you, moved you, made feelings palpable in you? What did you feel particularly comfortable with? All of this can give you information about how you can use painting even more for yourself and how you can find yourself in your pictures. And especially: Celebrate your picture, your trial! Every picture is a personal encounter with yourself and a mirror of your being. Celebrate it! Celebrate yourself Much love to you and: Happy painting!

Which watercolor paper is good?

There is a large selection of papers and blocks for watercolor painting: But which watercolor paper is really recommended now? What is important when choosing? Here I have put together some tips for you to make your decision easier. Which watercolor paper is good now? If you are still relatively new to experimenting with watercolors or if you are just starting out with watercolor painting, you may feel overwhelmed with the selection of papers and pads: Which paper is best for watercolor painting? What are the differences between the individual types of paper? Which is better – rough or dull? And which format is the right one? Is the more expensive painting pad really the better one? Let’s take a look together to see what matters when choosing: Watercolor paper: especially important – the paper thickness If you had to base your paper selection on just one criterion, I would recommend that you decide based on the paper thickness. In my opinion, nothing is a more important quality feature than the strength and stability of the watercolor paper. Inexpensive watercolor paper is already available with a weight of less than 100 g / m². You won’t be able to enjoy this for long, however: The paper curls quickly and can usually only be straightened with a lot of effort (and the courageous use of book presses or irons …) even after painting. Due to the waves in the paper, your colors may not be as evenly distributed as desired on the paper, but small puddles and puddles of water arise. Or you erase your pencil sketch too much – and there is a bad hole in the paper! There is nothing that is more frustrating than when your paper doesn’t want to be the way you do! Therefore my recommendation: Use a good paper thickness for watercolor paper. I advise you to use at least 200 grams of watercolor paper. Personally, I even work exclusively on pads and paper that are at least 250 g, better still 300 g, of thickness . Absolutely nothing curls up while painting – and it is a pure pleasure to paint on such sturdy paper! You can really let off steam with lots of water and many layers of paint. ? Even if you want to combine your watercolors with other materials, you will do well with strong watercolor paper. In short: you are more flexible with your painting techniques and you are guaranteed to have more fun while painting! Watercolor paper: rough or matt? You have probably already seen that watercolor paper is not only available in different thicknesses and formats, but also in different grain sizes. There is watercolor paper that is marked as “rough” and that which is described as “smooth” or “matt”. The individual types of paper have different properties in terms of luminosity, transparency and fluidity of the colors. Where are the differences? Watercolor paper smooth, satined Watercolor paper with a smooth, satined surface feels very fine and even . On this paper, watercolors come into their own in a particularly radiant and brilliant way. It is also easier to remove colors from this type of paper. The creation of transparent layers of paint is also very easy here. However, when it comes to working particularly wet and applying very watery layers of paint or working “wet on wet”, this watercolor paper is less suitable. Matte watercolor paper I can particularly recommend the watercolor paper in matte to beginners, as the colors can be controlled very well in the flow and the brushwork is particularly easy. Both wet and drier layers of paint can be easily applied here. The surface is pleasantly fine and delicate, light motifs also come into their own here. Watercolor paper rough With watercolor paper with a rough surface, the structure of the paper comes into its own. That can be a nice effect and play into the effect of a picture. Watercolors often look even more plastic here. The rough watercolor paper is ideal for wet paint applications and the “wet on wet” technique. Which type of paper is better now depends on how you would like to paint and what you feel most comfortable with. While some creative people also like it when the structures of the paper can be seen, other artists love the fine feel of a smooth or matte surface. Just a little tip: If you intend to use your watercolor pictures to make prints and print items, I would use matt or smooth watercolor paper. That makes it easier to prepare your pictures digitally for printing. So which watercolor paper? Just try! If you have little or no experience with watercolor painting, I recommend that you simply test different types of paper and different grain sizes for yourself. What feels better What do you get on better with? What kind of paper are you most comfortable with? No guide can replace the practical test. ? By the way, there are also individual papers to buy in specialist shops so that you don’t have to buy several expensive coloring pads to try out different papers. By the way, there we come to the next question: Single watercolor paper or glued pad? You can buy watercolor paper in the form of individual papers or classic painting pads. As a beginner, I recommend a block because it is easier to use here. But there are also differences between the blocks: with some blocks the papers are only glued together at the top or on one side, with other blocks all sides are glued all around. In any case, I advise you to use a block with completely glued sides : This also helps to ensure that your paper does not curl while painting and remains nice and stable and smooth. You also paint directly on the block without affecting the underlying paper with paint. How do you remove watercolor paper from the pad? When your watercolor is dry, you can carefully peel the picture off the pad. At the beginning I looked in vain for a way to get the paper off the glued block. ? So that you don’t search in vain: There is always a corner on the block that is NOT glued. At first glance, this is not obvious – but this corner really does exist. ? At this corner you carefully go under the paper with a ruler or a letter opener (or professionally with a folder *) and then carefully peel it off from the pad. Watercolor paper: which format is the right one? Watercolor paper is available in a wide variety of formats – from a small block of postcards to large-format single sheets of paper in meter format. If you are just starting out with watercolors, I advise you to choose a medium-sized format (e.g. 30 x 40 cm) that offers enough space to experiment with the colors and does not restrict you too much. But at the same time choose a format that you still feel comfortable with and that doesn’t seem so overpowering to you. Otherwise, this in turn can lead to the fact that you do not even dare to approach your paper and then become totally inhibited in painting. If you have found pleasure in watercolor painting, I advise you to make a small selection: Keep larger and smaller formats ready so that you can always pick up what feels really good at the moment. That can vary totally depending on the mood of the day. Perhaps you already have experience in other painting techniques: How do you describe your painting style? Rather lively and broad-based – or are you someone who keeps things small and manageable and likes to get lost in details? You can also use this to determine which format suits you best. If you want to keep all options open to yourself – select individual larger sheets of paper to start with and simply cut them to size if necessary. If you don’t shy away from the effort of cutting, you will also save money compared to the “finished” blocks. Which brand of watercolor paper is good? Here too, opinions differ. Personally, I LOVE Hahnemühle’s watercolor pads . These are among the more expensive blocks, but they are definitely worth the money. They make the watercolors really shine and also absorb the colors really well. Hahnemühle papers are also hard-wearing – they do not curl and can withstand multiple layers of paint, mixed media techniques and repeated erasures without any problems. ? My favorite is the Hahnemühle Britannia matt 300 g watercolor pad . * I actually use that the most. But I always like to experiment with new material. Speaking of mixed media: If you like to combine different materials, I advise you to use special mixed media blocks . * You can experiment with watercolor as well as acrylic paints, chalks or other colors. The papers are suitable for a wide variety of techniques – including collages, by the way. The same applies here: Above all, rely on a good paper thickness ! I hope I was able to make your decision for the right watercolor paper a little easier! And if you are looking for inspiration what you could conjure up on your watercolor paper: Then take a look at my Happy Painting courses ! I’m happy for you! Happy painting!

5 tips for watercolor painting: Happy painting with Clarissa

Watercolor painting is so much fun! It’s also great for beginners and at the same time incredibly diverse. Here you will find my best tips to make painting even easier with watercolors and to achieve even better results! I keep getting various questions about watercolor painting. And so I have collected a little to give you helpful tips on the most common questions and challenges with watercolor paints. Watercolor tip No. 1: start with a delicate and light layer of paint! You can achieve the most beautiful effects with watercolor if you put several layers of paint on top of each other. I recommend that you start with the first coat of paint very gently and easily. Then you have the maximum freedom to put more layers of color on top. The easier the first colors are laid out, the easier it is to paint over them. So you can decide after the first application of paint whether the colors should stay that way – or whether you want to change something completely again. To apply a light, delicate layer of paint, dilute your watercolors with plenty of water before applying them. The more water is added, the more delicate the colors become. My tip: Start with lighter colors and work your way up from layer to layer into the darker and more intense. This leaves you with the greatest possible scope in the entire painting process. Watercolor tip No. 2: This is how you can create color gradients Color gradients are one of the greatest challenges in watercolor painting, especially for beginners. But be courageous – it’s not that difficult and with a little practice you can create the most beautiful transitions from one color to another! My first recommendation: Apply the colors mixed with plenty of water. The moister they are, the easier the colors run into one another. If you’re struggling with color gradients, most of the time it’s really because the colors are too dry. I also advise you to use a thicker brush! It is much easier to create the gradients with a wide brush than with a thin brush. Moisten the brush with a little water and use it to go over the areas where the colors should run into each other. Just paint from one color to the other again. The transition is so gentle, as if by itself! Watercolor tip # 3: take breaks and let the colors dry! I know you are in the flow and you absolutely want to paint your picture “in one piece”. I know impatience all too well and I also hate to take breaks while painting. But they are so valuable! On the one hand, breaks help you to perceive your picture from a different perspective and to see the big picture again instead of small details. This will make it a lot easier for you to continue painting. On the other hand, you give the colors time to dry! You make the colors shine more if you apply them to dry surfaces. All too often it happens otherwise that your beautiful, bright yellow runs into, for example, the not yet dry purple – and you have brown, dull dirt on the paper 😉 If the drying of the colors does not go fast enough for you – use the hairdryer! This is also my best friend when I want to put several layers of paint on top of each other quickly and without long waiting times. Watercolor tip No. 4: Dare to try larger formats! Maybe you think you should try watercolor painting on smaller paper first – it is cheaper after all and you do not “lose” as much if you start small and the picture does not work 😉 But the opposite is much easier! It’s best to use a large format from the start. Because painting with watercolors is so much easier when you have more space for it. Then you don’t need to get lost in tiny details or meticulously paint out small shapes. Color gradients and effects are also much easier if you allow yourself large paper. I advise you to at least A4 size when you start. My favorite is the Hahnemühle Britannia matt watercolor pad in 24 x 32 cm size . * Now, of course, I also paint a lot in smaller formats. But especially when you want to try out and get to know a lot, the bigger paper is your friend! Watercolor tip no.5: How to correct small mistakes! Something quickly went wrong: Suddenly there is a splash of paint where it shouldn’t be, you accidentally painted over a line or simply chose the wrong color or a color that is too dark or too intense. No stress! 🙂 Even in watercolor painting, you can iron out a lot – and it’s very easy! Let the affected area dry first. Then take a brush and moisten it with a little water. Then you go with this watery brush (without paint) on the affected area and paint on it as if you were applying paint. You will see how the color can be removed again! If you want to increase the effect, then dab the area where you “removed” the color with a paper towel. You will be amazed that the paper can even be turned white again in this way! But please be gracious with small mistakes that happen: It is often the coincidences that make the picture afterwards! You can just leave a lot of things and continue painting – and you’ll be amazed at how your picture develops! I hope that with these tips I can make watercolor painting a little easier and encourage you to use the colors. With each picture you become more confident and a lot of what you think about at the beginning will eventually become very playful! All the best for you – and happy painting! Yours Clarissa